The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) and KPMG Report on Jobs – published today – provides the most comprehensive guide to the UK labour market, drawing on original survey data provided by recruitment consultancies.
Reductions in both permanent and temporary appointments…
Permanent placements fell for the first time in six months during June, and at the sharpest rate for just under three years. Temporary/contract staff billings were down for the seventh month running, with the rate of decline accelerating to the fastest since July 2009.
...as vacancy growth slows further
Overall demand for staff showed the weakest increase for five months in June. Growth of permanent vacancies eased further, but temp vacancies rose at a fractionally faster pace.
Availability of staff continues to rise
Recruitment consultancies indicated higher levels of both permanent and temporary staff availability during June, with the latter recording the stronger growth.
Pay rates stagnant
Average salaries for people placed in permanent jobs were broadly unchanged in June, while temporary/contract staff hourly pay rates were also stable.
Regional and sector variation
London, the Midlands and the North all registered lower placement volumes during the latest survey period, with only the South bucking the trend by posting growth. Lower temp billings were recorded in all monitored English regions with the exception of the Midlands, which posted solid growth.
IT & Computing and Engineering/Construction were the most in-demand types of permanent employee during June. For temps, Nursing/Medical/Care staff saw the strongest demand growth.
Bernard Brown, Partner and Head of Business Services at KPMG, comments:
“After five months of consecutive growth, the latest recruitment data comes as a sobering reminder that we’re far away from a confident economic situation. Indeed, with both permanent and temporary appointments declining at the sharpest rate in nearly three years and overall demand for staff showing the weakest growth since the start of 2012, the outlook would appear bleak.
“Of course, we must remember that these figures have come on the back of months of uncertainty in the Eurozone, the Greek elections and a worsening debt position in Southern Europe. This has dented confidence and created nervousness around investment, which in turn has impacted job creation. That said, there are some bright spots to be seen – most notably in the South which bucked the trend with a solid growth in permanent placements.
“However, a real worry for me is the acceleration in the pace of decline, which suggests this isn’t a mere blip. If this trend were to continue, there’s a very real chance we could hit a 3 million unemployed figure in the UK in the not too distant future.”
Recruitment and Employment Confederation chief executive Kevin Green says:
“The sharp drop in the number of people placed into work last month is really disappointing. A decrease in hiring activity means we could see a period of increased unemployment, especially as a new wave of school leavers and graduates will be entering the labour market over the summer. The UK labour market has been remarkably resilient throughout the downturn and our slow economic recovery. However, employer confidence is fragile and it’s not that surprising that under the weight of the eurozone crisis and other bad news placements fell in June.
“I expect as we continue to make slow progress out of recession that we’ll see this kind of a zig-zag pattern with some good months followed by weaker ones – rather than sustained periods of uninterrupted jobs growth.
“There is still demand for workers and vacancies continue to rise. Recruiters tell us that employers are still hiring, but their increased sense of caution is manifesting in them taking longer to make decisions and to confirm hires – and that slow down in the recruitment process is clearly having a negative impact on the number of placements. But it’s also important to note that the picture is not uniform across all industries. If you are a skilled engineer, IT professional or in nursing or secretarial work there is still increasing demand for you from employers.”
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Note to Editors:
The Report on Jobs is a monthly publication produced by Markit on behalf of the Recruitment & Employment Confederation and KPMG. The report features original survey data which provide the most up-to-date and comprehensive monthly picture of recruitment, employment and employee earnings trends available.
The Report features original research data from Markit, collected via questionnaire from a panel of 400 UK recruitment and employment consultancies. In 2010/11, some 1,049,333 people were employed in either temporary or contract work through consultancies and 604,193 people were placed in permanent positions through consultancies. Data for the monthly survey were first collected in October 1997 and are collected at the end of each month, with respondents asked to specify the direction of change in a number of survey variables.
All Index numbers are calculated from the percentages of respondents reporting an improvement, no change or decline. These indices vary between 0 and 100 with reading of exactly 50.0 signalling no change on the previous month. Readings above 50 signal an increase or improvement; readings below 50 signal a decline or deterioration. Reasons given by survey respondents for any changes are analysed to provide insight into the causes of movements in the indices and are also used to adjust for expected seasonal variations.
Markit do not revise underlying survey data after first publication, but seasonal adjustment factors may be revised from time to time as appropriate which will affect the seasonally adjusted data series. Historical data relating to the underlying (unadjusted) numbers, first published seasonally adjusted series and subsequently revised data are available to subscribers from Markit. Please contact email@example.com.
A regional Report on Jobs series is now available comprising four regional reports tracking labour market trends across the Midlands, the North of England, the South of England and London. The reports are designed to provide a comprehensive and up-to-date guide to labour market trends and the data are directly comparable with the UK Report on Jobs.
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About the Recruitment and Employment Confederation
15 Welbeck Street, London, W1G 9XT. Tel: 020 7009 2100. Fax: 0207 935 4112 Website: www.rec.uk.com
The REC is the professional body representing the UK’s £24.6 billion private recruitment and staffing industry with more than 8,000 recruitment agencies and 6,000 recruitment consultants in membership. There are more than 1 million temporary workers registered with UK agencies who are deployed in industry, commerce and the public services every day.
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